AS9100: Aerospace Quality Management Systems

AS9100 is an internationally recognized quality management system specific to the aerospace industry. In this guide, we will explore the key aspects of AS9100, including its significance, steps required for certification, benefits of implementation, and more.

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What is AS9100? Copied

AS9100 sets the standards for organizations involved in aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, ensuring they meet stringent requirements for quality, safety, and reliability to enhance customer satisfaction and regulatory compliance.

An AS9100 certification is based on ISO 9001 quality requirements. It encompasses sectors such as design, development, production, and maintenance, focusing on risk management, configuration control, traceability, and continuous improvement. Compliance with AS9100 demonstrates an organization’s commitment to delivering high-quality products and services in the aerospace industry.

Who needs to be certified in AS9100? Copied

AS9100 certification is not mandatory by law or government regulations. However, it is often required or strongly recommended by aerospace industry stakeholders, such as customers, regulatory bodies, and government agencies. Many aerospace companies choose to pursue AS9100 certification to demonstrate their commitment to quality and meet customer expectations.

An AS9100 certification can be particularly essential for companies involved in aerospace design, production, maintenance, and distribution, as it ensures compliance with industry standards and regulations, enhancing credibility and competitiveness in the aerospace market.

What are the benefits of implementing AS9100? Copied

AS9100 implementation provides aerospace organizations with a comprehensive framework that encompasses quality, compliance, risk management, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and more. In this section, we will take a closer look at these benefits.

Enhanced quality

AS9100 promotes a culture of quality, ensuring consistent adherence to rigorous standards, resulting in improved product and service quality.

Regulatory compliance

AS9100 helps organizations comply with applicable aerospace regulations, ensuring adherence to safety and quality requirements.

Improved efficiency

Implementing AS9100 leads to streamlined processes, reduced waste, improved productivity, and optimized resource utilization.

Supply chain confidence

AS9100 certification instills confidence in customers and suppliers, establishing trust and facilitating smoother collaborations across the aerospace supply chain.

Competitive advantage

AS9100 certification sets organizations apart from competitors, increasing their marketability and providing a competitive edge when bidding for contracts.

How to get an AS9100 certification Copied

The specific certification process for AS9100 may vary depending on the certification body and your organization’s circumstances. Consulting with your chosen certification body or an experienced AS9100 consultant can provide additional guidance throughout the certification journey.

Generally, however, certification involves familiarizing yourself with the standard, assessing your quality management system, implementing necessary changes, and undergoing an external audit.  

What are the challenges in implementing AS9100? Copied

Implementing AS9100 presents certain challenges for organizations. Addressing them dedicated leadership, effective communication, employee involvement, adequate training, and a systematic approach. Here, we’ll take a look at n this section, we’ll take a look at several of these challenges.

Resource allocation

Implementing AS9100 requires the allocation of sufficient resources, such as time, personnel, and financial investments, to effectively implement and maintain the AS9100 system can be challenging for organizations, especially smaller ones with limited resources.

Documentation and record keeping

AS9100 requires thorough documentation and record-keeping practices. Developing and maintaining comprehensive documentation and ensuring its accessibility and accuracy can be a challenge.

Training and competence

Providing training to employees on AS9100 requirements, procedures, and quality-related skills can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Ensuring employees have the necessary competence and understanding of their roles in the AS9100 system is crucial but challenging.

Supplier management

Ensuring that suppliers and subcontractors comply with AS9100 requirements can be challenging. Organizations must establish effective supplier evaluation, monitoring, and control mechanisms to maintain quality standards throughout the supply chain.

What are tips and strategies for preparing for AS9100 certification? Copied

Here are a few tips for preparing for an AS9100 certification:

  • Thoroughly understand the AS9100 requirements and their implications for your organization’s operations.
  • Secure commitment and active involvement from top management to drive the implementation process.
  • Identify gaps between your existing practices and AS9100 requirements to prioritize areas for improvement.
  • Ensure employees receive appropriate training on AS9100 requirements and their roles in the quality management system.

What are the renewal requirements for AS9100? Copied

AS9100 certification typically requires renewal or recertification every three years. The renewal process involves conducting surveillance audits to assess continued compliance with AS9100 requirements. Organizations must demonstrate effective implementation of the system, address any non-conformities, and provide evidence of ongoing improvement and adherence to quality standards.

What resources are available for AS9100 certification? Copied

For more information and guidance on AS9100 certification, you can refer to the following resources.

National Quality Assurance (NQA). As an accredited global certification body, NQA offers a dedicated guide to the AS9100 standard on its website, which you can use to prepare yourself and your organization for its implementation.

International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). The website of the IAQG also offers a dedicated page to AS9100, offering resources, support materials, and other information regarding certification. 

International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Because AS9100 is based on ISO 9001 requirements, you can visit the  ISO 9001 page on the official ISO website. There, you can view the ISO 9001 standard document, news updates, and additional resources.

Skills management Copied

Skills management for AS9100 compliance

AG5 stores all certifications in the cloud, providing all authorized personnel with access to the right version of approved certifications. This helps you easily keep track of all data and documentation related to an AS9100 certification across your organization.

Using AG5’s skills management software, you can monitor the status of any type of certification that is relevant to your workforce, leveraging intuitive dashboards that provide you with a clear understanding of exactly what is needed to keep your employees skilled and safe.

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FAQs about AS9100 Copied

  • What is the scope of AS9100?

  • Is AS9100 certification mandatory?

  • How long does it take to obtain AS9100 certification?

  • What are the cost considerations for AS9100 certification?

  • What is the validity period of AS9100 certification?

  • Can AS9100 be integrated with other management systems?

  • How can you learn more about AS9100 certification?

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Original version | July 11, 2023

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